Libertyville dominates at Glenbard West’s Chappell Invite

By Patrick Z. McGavin for the IWCOA

Libertyville had the perfect double.

The Wildcats had seven individual champions in dominating the field at the Chris Chappell Invite at Glenbard West on Saturday.

“We have some really good individuals in the upper weights,” Libertyville coach Dale Eggert said. “I have been very happy about some other guys who are not as experienced, but they are picking up a lot of wins. 

“They didn’t necessarily get to the finals, but they picked up a lot of pins and bonus points. I was very happy with the entire group.”

The Wildcats scored 269.5 points in claiming the team championship. Libertyville was a perfect 7-for-7 in the championship round.

Senior Antonio Kelly exemplified the quality of depth and singular individuals for Libertyville. He finished third at 138 pounds last at last year’s tournament.

Kelly was on the Wildcats’ JV level at the start of the season.

“It’s not that he couldn’t do it, but he was behind a sectional qualifier,” Eggert said. “He got the starting spot, and he rose to the occasion. He’s a talented guy who never had a chance to put it together. 

“He’s my hero today. We had a lot of good efforts, but he really came alive and shined.”

For the second consecutive year, Fremd was the runner-up. The Vikings had three individual champions in posting 210 points.

Behind the conquering hero, undefeated Collin Carrigan at 165 pounds, Glenbard West was third with 189 points. The Hilltoppers had eight championship qualifiers, with seven runner-up finishes.

Prairie Ridge, Cary-Grove and Elk Grove had one champion apiece.

Chris Chappell Invite championship matches:

106 – Jake Shafer, Libertyville

The freshman started the Wildcats’ juggernaut with a 4-1 decision over Glenbard West’s Aidan Ortega.

With just four wrestlers in the bracket, the tournament adopted a round-robin format. Shafer and Ortega each went 2-0 in the first two rounds.

“I was really good at creating the ankle pick, and I was able to ride guys out today,” Shafer said. “There weren’t a lot of matches. I wish there were more, but this is definitely going to boost my confidence.

“This is a really nice first tournament championship for me.”

Fremd’s Ayden Castillo had a 9-0 major over Proviso East’s Montrell Williams for third place.

113 – Jake Lowitzki, Prairie Ridge

The junior overwhelmed Fremd’s Trent Odachowski with a first-period pin at 1:03 in the championship match.

In the title match, he worked quickly with two early takedowns for the sharp 4-1 lead. Off the second movement, he caught Odachowski on his back for the commanding victory.

“My style, if I had to describe it, I think is really scrappy,” Lowitzki said. “I like to go out there, and put a lot of points on the board and really push the tempo.”

Lowitzki (24-5) is motivated by his experiences of a year ago when he went 42-13, though he finished one match away from a state place.

He won the tournament last year at 106 pounds and see every tournament as a chance to refine his skills.

“I had a lot of time to prepare for this tournament in the room, with our training, and I thought it went really well today,” he said.

Cary-Grove’s Hunter Lenz captured a 12-2 major decision over Libertyville’s Tyler Wuh for third place, and Proviso East’s Johnneil Otero earned a 5-3 decision over Glenbard West’s Nick Valerio on the fifth-place mat.

120 – Luke Berktold, Libertyville

Wildcats senior Luke Berktold posted a 17-4 major over Glenbard West’s Carson Prunty in the championship match.

He parlayed two takedowns and a three-point near fall into a commanding 7-1 advantage after the first period.

Explosive on his feet and terrific in combining his actions, Berktold put on an exhilarating performance. 

“I really like hand control, getting elbows and ties, and that allowed me to really get into my shots today,” he said. 

“In the championship match, I thought I was really good on my feet, and I was able to leverage him and snap him down a lot.”

Proviso East’s Jaedon Otero earned the 13-1 major decision over Cary-Grove’s Peter Hayden for third place, and Larkin’s Salvador Garcia secured the 4-3 decision over Prairie Ridge’s Lorenzo Massart in the fifth-place mat.

126 – Grant Madl, Elk Grove

Grens senior Grant Madl earned the championship victory over Glenbard West’s Alejandro Aranda by injury default.

Madl (27-1) was up 13-1 in the third period when Aranda suffered an injury trying to make a throw at 4:57.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself, and the work that I put in out there,” Madl said. “My style is very aggressive and offensive, and I’m just trying to score as many points as I can, and also work on the things I have to work on to get better.”

He used a takedown and two separate near falls for the commanding 8-0 lead after the first period.

Bartlett’s Cameron Engels captured a 10-4 decision over Woodstock’s Taqi Baker for third place, and Libertyville’s James Liu posted a fall over Cary-Grove’s Ignacio Santander in the fifth-place bout.

132 – Orion Moran, Libertyville

Libertyville senior Orion Moran earned the championship with a 9-0 major over Fremd’s Jovan Gongora.

He was both methodical and precise, using a first-period takedown and back points in generating an early 4-0 lead.

Moran (25-9) never let Gongora create any dangerous opportunities for himself, using his balance, quickness and speed to counter every action.

“I did a lot of work this offseason wrestling with a lot of elite guys at different tournaments,” Moran said. “That has really prepared me. I have a couple of go-to moves I like to do out there, but mostly I just like to go with the flow.”

Glenbard South’s Diego Myers secured a 5-4 decision over Prairie Ridge’s Christian Pease for third place, and Bartlett’s Filip Szeszko registered a fall over Proviso East’s Zion Gay on the fifth-place mat.

138 – Antonio Kelly, Libertyville

Libertyville senior Antonio Kelly earned a 14-5 major over Glenbard West’s Brennan Myra in the championship match, which featured the craziest closing seconds of any of the finals.

On the verge of an apparent technical fall with a 14-0 lead with about 12 seconds remaining, Kelly attempted an underhook move that Myra blocked and caught him on his back.

Kelly nearly saw victory snatched away as he furiously held off being pinned in the final seconds.

“I feel like I did get a little too comfortable in that moment, and I got lazy and I was thrown there,” Kelly said. “Fortunately I was able to work my way out of it.”

Glenbard South’s Jin Tai earned a fall over Larkin’s Damari Miller for third place, and Cary-Grove’s Trenton Klapperich had a fall over Fremd’s Jack Sloan on the fifth-place mat.

144 – Evan Gosz, Fremd

Fremd star junior Evan Gosz continued his dominant season with a 27-9 technical fall over Glenbard West’s Brandon Watson in the championship match.

He registered six takedowns and a near-fall for a 17-5 lead through the end of the second period.

Gosz (23-0) finished third at 126 pounds last year, and the frightening part for his opponents is he has gotten even better. He has been virtually untouchable this season—fast, electric and powerful. 

“I think I have become even more aggressive with my shooting, and things like that,” he said.

“With the elite guys, there’s a lot of scrambling out there. I like to put my own stamp on how I perform, and what I do out there. I have been able to do just that.”

Woodstock’s Daniel Bychowski posted a 3-2 decision over Thornton’s Ryan Jackson for third place, and Libertyville’s Will Carney had a fall over Glenbard South’s Jordan Bowman on the fifth-place mat.

150 – Lucas Nance, Fremd

The Vikings’ sophomore worked from an early deficit to earn a 7-5 decision over Glenbard West’s Jondelle Malunay in the championship match.

Down 2-0 at the start of the second period, Nance worked out of the bottom for the reversal.

Not satisfied, Nance took control with back points for the 5-2 lead. After conceding an escape at the start of the third period, Nance (17-11) created the necessary distance with a takedown.

Thornton’s Clarence Allen had a fall over Bartlett’s Rodrigo Martinez for third place, and Libertyville’s Jacob Whisenand had a fall over Glenbard South’s Matt Orsolini on the fifth-place mat.

157 – Ryan Muslimovic, Fremd

The Vikings’ senior pinned Cary-Grove’s Noah Pechotta in the closing seconds of the second period of the championship match.

He created magic out of a seemingly impossible scenario with the stunning reversal after trailing much of the match.

Pechotta secured the only points of the first period with a takedown. Muslimovic (29-5) made his move with the second period escape.

Newly energized, Muslimovic exploited his opportunity with a takedown on the outer edge of the mat that he finished with a decisive turn of Pechotta at 3:52.

Prairie Ridge’s Xander York captured a 10-6 decision over Glenbard West’s Tony Shadid for third place and Libertyville’s James Shadid secured a 2-0 decision over Glenbard West’s Vince Tortoriello in the fifth-place match.

165 – Collin Carrigan, Glenbard West

The Hilltoppers’ newest star knocked out Fremd’s Peter Mondus with a pin at 1:20 in the championship match.

The Marmion transfer improved to 29-0 with three falls, requiring just 5:21 of mat time in earning the most outstanding wrestler distinction.

In the championship match, he had five takedowns for the 10-4 advantage leading into the fall.

“It’s been an awesome experience coming here,” he said. “The coaches and other guys have been great.”

Carrigan was fifth at 150 pounds two years ago, and a state qualifier last season.

“I live 30 seconds away from the campus. Everything is good. At Marmion, we had like four guys who were ranked No. 1. Here everybody is behind me.”

Glenbard South’s Logan Price posted a fall over Proviso East’s Clarence Wellington for third place, and Libertyville’s Charlie Clark had a fall over Woodstock’s Max Miller in the fifth-place bout.

175 – Matt Kubas, Libertyville

Libertyville senior Matt Kubas registered a second period fall of Elk Grove’s Benny Schlosser in the championship match.

Kubas (26-2) had six first-period takedowns for the fast and electrifying 12-5 start.

“I go into every match just trying to get the first takedown,” he said. “Once I get that, I just have the attitude of trying to get more and more takedowns.”

He went 42-9 in finishing fourth at 170 pounds last year.

“No matter who I am going up against, my mentality is always just go out there and try and score. Whenever I do that, I tend to beat the best guys.”

Fremd’s Anthony D’Ambrosio secured a fall over Woodstock’s Edgar Arana for third place, and Cary-Grove’s Luke Bennett had a fall over Bartlett’s Gerald Amistoso in the fifth-place match.

190 – Caleb Baczek, Libertyville

Libertyville junior Caleb Baczek used a first period takedown for a 2-0 decision over Glenbard West’s Sasha Boulton in the championship match.

“Getting that first takedown just solidified the match,” he said. 

The scoring was tight, the match was marked by significant actions and sub-movements. Baczek deftly worked out of a cradle Boulton caught him in during the final 37 seconds of the match.

“It got hairy in there when that cradle came in, but I was able to fight it off and dislodge his hands,” Baczek said.

Baczek was a state qualifier at 182 pounds last season.

Woodstock’s Zach Canaday recorded a 5-1 decision over Larkin’s Joshua Castillo for third place, and Waukegan’s Lamero Ceaser had a fall over Elk Grove’s Mo Burt in the fifth-place match.

215 – Owen McGrory, Libertyville

The Wildcats’ standout earned a 15-2 major over Elk Grove’s Dylan Berkowitz in the championship match.

Already up 6-2 to start the second period, McGrory used an escape and two separate near falls for the 13-2 advantage.

“Even though I’m bigger, I tend to wrestle like a lower weight guy, and most guys are not really ready for that or used to it,” he said.

 “I also like to work on the small details, hand fighting, snapping someone down, and getting my technique just right.”

McGrory was 45-8 and was one match away from a state place medal last season.

Woodstock’s Andrew Ryan earned a 1-0 decision over Glenbard South’s Dan Langner for third place, and Prairie Ridge’s John Fallaw secured a 4-0 decision over Fremd’s Jaime Vela on the fifth-place mat.

285 – Lucas Burton, Cary-Grove

Trojans junior Lucas Burton earned a 3-2 decision over Thornton’s Lionel Senior with an early escape in the third period.

He fought off the athletic and dynamic Senior with superb balance and footwork over the final 1:51.

Burton (14-4) had the only offensive points with a first period takedown. Senior created the tie with escapes at the end of the first and second periods.

After Burton went up with the early third period escape, Senior created several dangerous opportunities, but Burton withstood his pressure for the victory.

Waukegan’s Ivan Martinez registered a fall over Woodstock’s Everett Flannery for third place, and Owen Jakuczak had a fall over Libertyville’s Rhett VanBoening for fifth.

Championship match results of the Chris Chappell Invite

106 – Jake Shafer (Libertyville) D 4-1 Aidan Ortega (Glenbard West)

113 – Jake Lowitzki (Prairie Ridge) F 1:03 Trent Odachowski (Fremd) 

120 – Luke Berktold MD 17-4 Carson Prunty (Glenbard West)

126 – Grant Madl (Elk Grove) Injury Default 4:57 Alejandro Aranda (Glenbard West) 

132 – Orion Moran (Libertyville) MD 9-0 Jovan Gongora (Fremd) 

138 – Antonio Kelly (Libertyville) MD 14-5 Brennan Myra (Glenbard West)

144 – Evan Gosz (Fremd) TF 5:41 27-9 Brandon Watson (Glenbard West) 

150 – Lucas Nance (Fremd) D 7-5 Jondelle Malunay (Glenbard West) 

157 – Ryan Muslimovic (Fremd) F 3:52 Noah Pechotta (Cary-Grove)

165 – Collin Carrigan (Glenbard West) F 1:20 Peter Mondus (Fremd) 

175 – Matt Kubas (Libertyville) F 2:21 Benny Schlosser (Elk Grove)

190 – Caleb Baczek (Libertyville) D 2-0 Sasha Boulton (Glenbard West) 

215 – Owen McGrory (Libertyville) MD 15-2 Dylan Berkowitz (Elk Grove)   

285 – Lucas Burton (Cary-Grove) D 3-2 Lionel Senior (Thornton)

Final team scores: 1. Libertyville (269.5) 2. Fremd (210) 3. Glenbard West (189) 4. Cary-Grove (119) 5. Woodstock (101) 6. Elk Grove (88.5) 7. Glenbard South (83) 8. Bartlett (68) 8. Prairie Ridge (68) 10. Thornton (62) 10. Proviso East (62) 12. Waukegan (31.5) 14. Larkin (31).

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